In the UK, interior designer Karen Clarke’s home proves that you don’t need to be rich to live in an amazing house full of great style. Although she works with some very high-end clients, Clarke has also mastered the art of living well on a budget, and many of her style tricks are easily within reach of those who don’t have her wealth at their disposal. By drawing inspiration from the best bits of both old and new homes and applying them to her smaller London flat, Clarke has made it an amazing place to relax in no matter what the weather or time of day.
My Creative Process
I’m an interior designer, and I love finding ways to make beautiful spaces on a budget. I often start with thrift store finds and build from there. I like to mix and match different styles to create unique looks that are personal to my clients. Here are some of my favorite tips for creating budget-friendly style in your home.
1) Shop at secondhand stores or garage sales to find the right items.
2) Make sure you have enough storage space to keep it all organized!
3) If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the stores, use items around your house as substitutes – I once made a faux chandelier out of old tumblers and ceiling light bulbs!
4) Mix pieces together – don’t be afraid to get creative!
5) Don’t be afraid to use art or other decoratives as focal points
6) You don’t need expensive materials to create an impactful design
7) Stay away from trend-heavy items
8) Less is more
9) There’s no wrong way – just have fun
10). Keep everything clean and dust free
I think one of the most important things about being a good designer is being able to see things differently, especially when it comes to décor. That’s why I always try to do something unique with every room I work on. Like when someone needs furniture but they only want cheap options, I’ll shop around until I find vintage pieces that will go well together.
My Favorite Items
- The neutral color palette throughout the home. It makes the space feel calm and inviting, and it’s easy to mix and match different furniture and decor items when everything is in the same color family.
- The way the different patterns and textures are used throughout the home. It adds interest and visual interest without being too busy or overwhelming.
- The simple but stylish furniture pieces. They look great without being too expensive or high-end, which is perfect for renters or those on a budget.
- The eclectic mix of art on the walls. It creates a gallery-like feel that is both stylish and unique.
- The use of greenery throughout the home. Having plants around just feels so relaxing and gives the room an earthy vibe.
- The pops of white in every room (e.g., cabinets, ceiling). White can be very harsh if you have too much of it, but here there’s just enough to give a crisp contrast against all the other colors present throughout the home.
- All of the open storage options (e.g., bookcases). Having lots of natural light flowing through your house is such a treat!
- How well each area has its own personality while still feeling like one cohesive whole thanks to some shared elements like color schemes and artwork/furniture styles (e.g., vintage furniture mixed with contemporary furnishings).
- And last but not least, how they were able to maintain a sense of privacy within the common areas even though they’re small. To do this, they chose interesting wallpaper instead of windows and placed curtains at either end of the hallway rather than closing off sections with doors.
- Even though this was created by an interior designer, I think anyone would be able to incorporate these ideas into their home whether it’s rented or owned.
- I’ll definitely take notes from this place whenever I’m planning my next place – looking forward to tackling my new place soon!
- Take care everyone 🙂
Where I Shop
Though I love finding hidden gems when thrifting, some of my favorite places to shop for budget-friendly home decor are IKEA, H&M Home, and Zara Home. I also love World Market for its unique global finds, and CB2 for modern pieces. Of course, Amazon is always a go-to for home essentials like bedding and towels. When it comes to furniture, I often look to Wayfair or Target. Finally, Anthropologie is great for splurging on pieces that will make your home stand out.
Little Details That Complete a Room
- A room is not complete without artwork. Art can be expensive, but you can find affordable pieces at flea markets, antique stores, or online.
- Another way to add personality to a room is with color. Paint is an easy and inexpensive way to make a big impact.
- Don’t forget the details! Pillows, vases, and rugs can all help tie a room together and make it feel more finished.
- Lighting is also important for creating the right atmosphere in a room. Table lamps, floor lamps, and candles can all help set the mood.
- Texture can also be used to add interest to a space. For example, consider using rough textures like wood or metal on furniture. Or incorporate different materials into one piece by mixing fabrics (like cotton and velvet) on a sofa. The possibilities are endless!
- To help your home look lived in while you’re away, try hanging art or bringing out personal items like books and plants when guests come over. It gives the impression that people live there even if they don’t!
- If you’re looking for ways to save money on household items , we’ve got some ideas:
- Stock up on cleaning supplies and other products during the holidays, when prices tend to drop because so many people buy them as gifts. You’ll pay less now than later this year!
- Get creative about storage solutions for bulk food purchases, such as stacking tupperware containers on top of each other or hanging pots from hooks near a stovetop. They may take up space in your kitchen, but they’ll save you from running out of cupboard space later!
- Consider swapping traditional light bulbs with LED ones – LED bulbs last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs do – so you’ll have more money left over for what really matters: clothes and fun stuff 😉
The Importance of Color Palettes (and how to create them)
Color palettes are important for setting the tone and mood of a space. They can also be used to create visual interest and to tie together disparate elements. Creating a color palette is relatively simple: just choose a few colors that you love and that work well together. You can use a color wheel to help you find complementary colors, or you can look for inspiration in nature or art. Once you have your palette, experiment with different combinations of colors and see what looks best in your space.